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Graham Construction secures £6.3m contract on Higgs centre

The Higgs Centre for Innovation will be in Edinburgh

HILLSBOROUGH based building firm Graham Construction has secured a £6.3 million to build a space centre in Edinburgh named after renowned particle scientist Peter Higgs.

The Higgs Centre for Innovation will be built at the Royal Observatory in the city.

As with many of the north's other main building contractors, much of Graham's work is focused on projects outside Northern Ireland.

The space centre is just the latest in Scotland.

Last month, Graham completed a £10m primary school in Fort William for the Highland Council.

Other recent contract wins include to build the £9m Calderdale College in west Yorkshire, an £18m refurbishment project on Edinburgh Law School and an £18m scheme to expand a primary school in west Hampstead.

The firm was also the main contractor on the £50m scheme to widen the A2 Shore Road in Co Antrim which was completed last year.

Last accounts for the company, for the year to March 2015, showed a return to profitability after a major 17.9 per cent upsurge in turnover to £428.7m.

That prompted an almost £5m swing back into the black for the group which posted pre-tax profits of £2.7m.

At that time, the directors said the increased geographical spread of its operations had helped secure a long pipeline of projects across Ireland and Britain.

In addition to three locations in Ireland, Graham operates from three bases in Scotland and six in England.

The new Higgs centre in Edinburgh will focus on space and big data technologies and the whole scheme will cost £12m when fitting out is complete.

Prof John Womersley, chief executive of the Science and Technologies Facilties Council, said: “Particle physics, astronomy and space science all address one of the biggest questions in science, what is the universe made of.

“The Higgs Centre for Innovation will significantly increase the positive impact that arises from fundamental research like this, both in job creation and economic opportunities and growth in the UK.”

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